TV: League Pass
- The Utah Jazz, currently on a three-game losing streak, will get a boost with the return of Marvin Williams tonight. Williams smacked his head on the court in a game against New Orleans last Wednesday and hasn’t played since then while dealing with concussion-like symptoms. Williams will start, but his minutes may be limited depending on how he feels during the game.
- Utah coach Tyrone Corbin, unlike New Orleans coach Monty Williams who was critical of the way concussions are currently being treated by the NBA and other sports leagues last month, said he agrees with being cautious in regards to head injuries. Williams, one of his starters, missed three games because of his concussion-like symptoms. “With all the studies that [are] going on, not just in basketball but football … I’ve been hit in a game and you shake it off and you’re not really there, but you want to stay in the game. So, you shake it off and you’re not really there and work your way through it. It’s a little dangerous,” Corbin said. “With all the education we have now, I think it’s smarter to be ahead of it than to get somebody get hurt and feel like you should have done something differently.”
- The Jazz are still without forward Derrick Favors as he’s hobbled by plantar fasciitis. Their defense has suffered without Favors, as they’ve allowed 111.7 points in their last three games. “He’s a force on both ends of the floor,” said Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn. “I hope our guys come with an approach of not taking that for granted and being ready to play. Derrick adds a lot to their team on both ends of the floor.”
- Utah won’t get any sympathy for its injuries from Orlando. The Magic are still without Adam Meyer and small forward Hedo Turkoglu. “We’ve been in the same boat a little bit,” Vaughn said. “I think at one point we were leading the league in different lineups. We’ve managed and we’ve stayed together as a team and played some decent basketball.”
- Look for Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic to take advantage of Favors’ absence. He’s coming off a 14-point, 15-rebound effort against Golden State on Monday and a 17-point, 12-rebound effort against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
- First-year coach Vaughn will likely receive a warm welcome from Jazz fans tonight. Vaughn was a first-round draft pick by the Jazz in 1997 and played for five different teams during his 12-year career. “Good memories, for sure,” Vaughn said of his time as a player in Utah. “It was a good time in my life.”